Press Release
November 27, 2009

Biron joins NP, backs Villar

ILOILO CITY--Iloilo fourth district Rep. Ferjenel "Ferj" Biron led officials in his district in swearing into the Nacionalista Party headed by Sen. Manny Villar, who hails from the province.

The latest NP oathtakers included six out of the district's eight incumbent mayors and other grassroots leaders in a well-attended oathtaking ceremony graced by the NP standard-bearer at Hotel del Rio here.

"We welcome our beloved Ilonggo leaders to the Nacionalista Party, led by Congressman Biron who most actively pursues and shares NP's advocacy of enabling the poor to have access to health care," Villar said.

The NP standard-bearer underscored that the right to health of citizens must be upheld, citing how his family then living in Tondo lost his sibling due to inaccessibility of medical treatment.

Biron, a doctor of medicine by profession, is an active health crusader, proponent and author of the measure providing for cheaper and quality medicines, which was passed into law as Republic Act (RA) 9502, otherwise known as the "Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008."

The Congressman finished his degree in medicine from the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao as a scholar and magna cum laude in 1989. While serving his internship, Biron empathized with poor patients who could not afford to buy badly needed medicines.

Later on believing that he could serve the poor better in public service, he ran and won as congressman for the fourth district in 2004, and was reelected in 2007, when he pushed for the passage of his House Bill 6035, which, as he said, was "metamorphosed" into RA 9502.

In seeking reelection in 2010, he vows to push for an amendment that would reconsider his original intention to create a Drug Price Regulatory Board that would fix the maximum retail prices for all medicines. The provision giving the President, through the Department of Health, power to peg medicine prices was not part of Biron's original bill.

Last Nov. 23, three-term Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, national chairman of the League of Cities of the Philippines who will run for congressman of the city's lone district, also took oath as a Nacionalista before Villar.

Joining Treñas were Bingawan Mayor Matt Palabrica and Maasin Mayor Mariano Malones Jr.; Lauan Mayor Aser Baladjay, Bugasong Mayor Bernard Pesayco, and Caluya Mayor Reynante Lim of Antique; Sapian Mayor Arturo Orosco of Capiz; and Board Members Patricio Gange and Roy Habaña of Guimaras; and other incumbent vice-mayors, councilors, and aspirants of Panay's provinces.

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